Strengthening Independent Media

Proposal Marketplace

Proposals for Collaboration

Steve Bratt, WWW Foundation
1) Web Science: Building a New Field of Study

As a society, we do not yet understand the Web. The Web's inventor, Tim Berners-Lee, believes creation of "Web Science" as a new field of study is critical to the future of the Web as an agent of personal empowerment. Web Science seeks to educate the next generation of scientists who will improve our understanding of the Web’s complex nature, and explore new technologies that could ultimately make the Web even more powerful for all people on the planet. Specific activities required to provide umbrella support for this fledgling field include articulating a research agenda for the broader scientific community , coordinating the development of Web Science educational material and curricula, and engaging thought leadership across technology and policy areas. While increasing numbers of individual Web science research projects are being funded, funding for global coordination, curriculum development, and community building around this new field is insufficient.

The Web Foundation is working with the new Web Science Trust to fill this gap and is actively seeking outside investors from a diverse range of background around the world.

2) Making the Web Accessible for All

Only about 25% of the world's people are currently using the Web -- about 1.8 billion people. Even with a computer and good Internet connectivity, between 1 and 2 billion people who are not now using the Web would have a serious challenge using the Web because of their disabilities, age, literacy level, and/or language. Large numbers of additional people would be challenged because they are not computer literate, and may find the way we now use the Web unnatural. We need to "fix" the Web so that it is accessible to all. The Web Foundation proposes to mobilize and coordinate a multi-organizational initiative to research, standardize, demonstrate and promote new technologies and guidelines that will open the Web to the billions of people now excluded.

There has been great work in this area to date but most of the effort has been driven by people from developed countries when in fact 90% of people with disabilities live in developing countries. Furthermore, existing efforts have not focused on mobile phones which seem to offer the greatest opportunity for the creation and consumption of information since passing the 5 billion subscription mark.

The Web Foundation, in partnership with the World Wide Web Consortium, seeks a broad base of supporters to address these needs through development of a long-term program with global impact.

3) Global Open Government Data Initiative

Over the past two years, a paradigm shift has been emerging around how governments work and their use of the Web and ICT to deliver better services to their constituencies. The new approach is known as Open Government. It means rethinking how to govern and rethinking how the administrations should adapt their procedures to meet the demands and necessities of the citizens. This requires a cultural, organizational, procedural and attitude change in public servants and the relation with the citizens. Open Government Data (OGD) is a pillar of an Open Government strategy. OGD is when ministries and state agencies put their raw data on the Web in readable formats (preferably, machine readable, open standard formats). The public can review and download the data, and even create new applications around the data.

The Web Foundation is committed to supporting efforts around OGD in individual countries, and as a emerging movement around the world.
 Funding is required to work with both top level officials, public administrators and civic hackers to lead a country's OGD program in three ways:

  1. Readiness studies and plans for action
  2. Building capacity by implementation of tools and training
  3. Monitoring and evaluating as OGD programs become established.

4) Building a Web Index

There is wide recognition of the value of information and communication technologies in general, and of the Web in particular, as vectors of positive social and economic change. Several organizations have developed indicators to measure the technology readiness and usage in different. However, these indicators focus on infrastructure; evaluating the availability of Internet, mobile phones, computers, etc. Isolated estimates of what might seem to be a fundamental parameter of the Web, such as the number of Web pages in the world, vary by orders of magnitude. There is no indicator today that attempts to measure the Web as a growing, interconnected information space of people and knowledge. There is no indicator today that measures the current or prospective social and economic impact of the Web on people, communities and countries.

The Web Foundation proposes to create a new index -- the Web Index -- as an annual measure of the Web and its social and economic impact, as well as the evolution of each on a per country and global basis. Seed funds have now been committed and will help with the creation of the Index by refining the concept; establishing the structure needed to develop, compute and govern a highly-credible and useful Index; and attract a broad base of funders and partners to sustain it for as many years as it is relevant.

Peter Goldstein, InterMedia

1) Reporting Fellows in Comunications and Technological Change: The current AudienceScapes Fellows program seeks to strengthen the ability of journalists in developing countries to cover the rapid technological change in their countries, particularly in the new media and communications realms. We seek to expand this program to more countries and enrich it by pairing our Fellows with seasoned technology reporters as mentors in both coverage and story development. The key practical/real-world element of the program is that the reporters will be able to publish on the AudienceScapes website (and elsewhere) and receive a small stipend. The program is geared toward less-experienced journalists and freelancers.

2) Mobile Impact Tracking Research Program: As mobile-based journalism, empowerment and governance initiatives proliferate, there is a profound need for greater understanding of how mobile use and impact is evolving. We propose a global but flexible and lean research and analysis tool to track mobile developments so funders and implementers can keep pace. This would function as a strategic planning and needs-assessment tool.

Jeanne Bourgault, Internews

Mobile Media: Content Distribution at the Intersection of Traditional and New Media

Internews is an international media development organization working to empower local media worldwide to give people the news and information they need, and the power to make their voices heard. Founded in 1982, Internews has worked in more than 70 countries and provided media skills training to some 80,000 people.

Our projects range from training and production development, to advocacy for fair and open internet, media and telecommunications laws and policies, to support for humanitarian media able to disseminate critically important information to populations affected by conflict or natural disaster.

Internews’ projects succeed because they partner with local media, engage with community resources and leverage a range of media, tools and technologies. Internews consistently makes use of cutting-edge technologies like mobile media and SMS messaging, open-source mapping and crowdsourcing platforms in order to provide our partners with the most efficient and effective programs for the communities they serve. Recent projects have included partnering with the BBC World Service Trust to deliver life-saving information to flood-affected communities in Pakistan and working with our local partners in Afghanistan to launch a “radio-over-internet” content distribution system.

Internews’ most critical need is an increased capacity to innovate and experiment through its unparalleled network of in-country projects around the world. We need to leverage and further develop the partnerships we have initiated; to continue to experiment with new tools; and to provide the capacity for our field staff who span 30 countries to better collaborate and network with each other to ensure that we and our partners are learning from each others’ mistakes as well as successes.

The elements of an Internews Innovation Initiative include:

  • A dedicated technologist/CTO who can monitor and coordinate the efforts of staff and partners throughout the world, offer guidance on technology and techniques, and develop training and skill-sharing activities to enhance existing and emerging programs and activities;
  • A travel and logistics budget to support regular training/skill-sharing convening defined by our technologist/CTO;
  • A seed/mini-grants fund to support field staff and partners in piloting new technology projects, and in taking successful pilot projects to scale;
  • Increased funding for policy research and advocacy that allows us to work in-country to advance issues such as telecommunications access/infrastructure, freedom of expression, and other policies which fundamentally impact the potential of new technologies and more broadly citizens’ access to information;
  • Support for senior and administrative staff time to coordinate these efforts, measure their results, aggregate the information and impact they yield, and use these data to inform future project development, fundraising, and program implementation.

The budget to robustly fund the Internews Innovation Initiative totals $1,000,000 annually and would allow Internews to capitalize on emerging new technologies, opportunities and partnerships, while at the same time improving the impact of our on-going programs for the communities in which we work.

Examples of how Internews strives to harness the potential of new communications technologies together with the power of traditional media to help communities to solve pressing problems can be found with the following projects, which will be launched when funding is secured:

  • Crisis Mapping: Internews is partnering with a variety of information technology organizations and is in discussions with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) to develop a new mobile-enabled, local media- crisis mapping response platform. The platform will help local media outlets improve two–way communication with their communities and serve as a conduit to humanitarian aid organizations, providing actionable information on the immediate needs of the population affected by crisis or conflict. This platform will produce real time crisis mapping information that is critical to the initial and ongoing relief activities. Based on their recent experience in humanitarian media response, Internews will create templates appropriate for collecting information from the local community during various types of emergencies. Internews will work with the local media to train journalists and enable media outlets to collect and analyze SMS-gathered data provided by local communities that will be plotted on the crisis mapping platform. This information will be made available to communities through their the local media outlets so they may both better understand the situation on the ground and take a more active role in their own relief efforts. The humanitarian aid community will be able to access the platform and use the crisis map and correlating data to prioritize their efforts thus increasing the effectiveness of the humanitarian response.
  • MySMENews is a pilot project developed by Internews in partnership with Indian non-profit Mahiti designed to provide a business news service in print and on mobile phones for a million micro-entrepreneurs in and around Kolkata in the Indian state of West Bengal. The overall goal of MySMENews is to create a sustainable model for a new kind of community media for the poorest of the poor that provides news and information to micro-entrepreneurs that is both relevant to their small business needs and - through the use of both traditional and new media technologies - specific enough to the myriad niche services and products that they offer. MySMENews is the first service to target micro-finance borrowers specifically in developing countries as a natural market for community based business news and information.
  • Health Mapping in Kenya: In the Korogocho slum in Nairobi, Kenya, Internews is partnering with Koch FM, a community radio station that supplies the population with news and information on a daily basis, and with FrontlineSMS:Medic and HealthMap, both non-profit, open source platforms for monitoring and mapping public health conditions. By linking these innovative new technologies – using SMS text messaging to allow public health volunteers to communicate with clinics; and aggregating this data and visualizing it over time and space illuminate the patterns and trends that can indicate an epidemic – with the time-tested, community-based broadcast medium and rendering it far more interactive, we can educate the Korogocho community about ways to keep itself healthier, empower health workers to monitor and treat the community’s health problems, and gather data that can inform policies to improve health and well-being.

Each of these projects leverages new technologies and conscientious design with Internews’ in-country expertise, personnel and partnerships, to impact hundreds of thousands of lives in countries around the world.

Internews has the potential to make a unique contribution to the dialogue about media and its role in civil society globally. Our projects are not constrained by the challenges negotiating “old media” versus “new media” paradigms, because the media climate in the developing world is far different than that in the United States. Absent the tradition of a strong primarily corporate-led and print-based media system, we can focus simply on what works – on what kind of media culture, tools and activities can best inform public dialogue, empower civic decision-making processes, and underpin a healthy civil society. The Innovation Initiative described here would create more bandwidth for Internews to experiment with the answers to these questions, and share our experiences with those in the media/civil society space struggling with these same questions in the developed and developing world alike.

For more Information please contact:

Jeanne Bourgault,
 Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
 Internews Network

1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036

+1-202-833-5740, ext. 211

skype: jbourgault

Sasa Vucinic, Media Development Loan Fund

1) Radio Loan Pool, Indonesia

MDLF is seeking funding to cover the administrative costs of a loan pool fund for Indonesian radio stations run by its affiliate, radio news agency KBR68H.

KBR68H has managed a loan program for its 700 radio station network members since 2006 in response to the difficulties they encounter in accessing loans from commercial banks, which regard them as bad risks. Loans are available for the upgrade of equipment or for working capital, and range from US$3,500-11,000.

In a country where many radio stations were originally set up as hobbies, the program is having a significant impact on the professionalization of the industry as a whole. Loan criteria serve to encourage radio stations to improve their management systems, for example through the requirement that they set up company bank accounts, develop simple business plans etc. They must also comply with legal requirements for establishing radio stations.

To date, around 90 loans have been provided, totaling around US$200,000. Of these only 2% are non-performing.

Amount requested: $40,000 over 2 years.

2) Newsprint Bank, Zimbabwe

MDLF is seeking financing to set up and cover the first year’s administrative costs of a newsprint bank for all independent newspapers in Zimbabwe.

After years of economic mismanagement and the systematic intimidation of the independent press, there are no domestic newsprint suppliers in Zimbabwe. The ongoing economic difficulties and years of currency mismanagement have led foreign suppliers to demand advance payments from Zimbabwean publishers for all newsprint.

While there has been some political easing in recent months – the government has granted licenses to several independent dailies to publish alongside the existing weeklies – the economic situation remains precarious and news businesses find it very difficult to generate sufficient revenues from operations to finance advance newsprint purchase. Bank credit runs at the rate of 30-40% annually in US currency.

A newsprint bank would provide affordable newsprint to all independent newspapers in the country. MDLF would consider providing it with a US$500,000 loan to begin operations.

Amount requested: $90,000 over 1 year 

3) Greener Printing, Global

MDLF is seeking funding to provide environmental training for printing house managers in emerging democracies.

Newspaper and magazine printing – from selection of newsprint sources to the disposal of waste materials – carries a high risk of environmental damage. It is a highly chemicalized industry with solvents, inks and photographic plates all contributing to the degradation of local environments. In addition to environmental dangers, working with printing materials can be harmful to staff and water pollution poses health risks to local communities if correct waste disposal procedures are not followed.

Many printing operations in the developed world are able – or even obliged by legislation – to follow secure environmental standards. In emerging markets where there is often no effective regulation, the impact on environments can be extremely damaging. With basic training in sourcing/handling of input materials, recycling, waste/solvent/energy optimization, toxic and dangerous waste disposal, some of the worst effects can be easily and cheaply rectified.

Intensive, small-group trainings to printing house managers in conducting environmental audits, implementing environmental action plans, and training staff in green issues would provide them with the skills necessary to reduce the environmental damage of printing operations.

Amount requested: $50,000 over two years

4) Radio Station Building, Papua, Indonesia

MDLF is seeking funding to build a new radio station in Papua, one of the most impoverished parts of Indonesia, in order to end information isolation and improve the lives of tens of thousands of people.

The project will build on the lessons learned over the past seven years, during which MDLF, together with the country’s leading independent national radio news agency, KBR68H, and an Indonesian non-profit, the Indonesian Association for Media Development, have built a dozen radio stations in Eastern Indonesia where no other form of information access previously existed.

An intensive mentoring program enables local people to build and then run the stations and to produce content that addresses the information, education and entertainment needs and interests of their listeners. This pioneering program has proven to be a highly effective tool for development and has had a remarkable impact on the lives of those living in these remote, underdeveloped communities.

Within three years of establishment, stations set up under this program are generally fully financially self reliant.

Amount requested: $125,000 over 3 years.

Amadou Ba, African Media Initiative

The African Media Initiative (AMI) is a pan-African programme to promote democratic governance, social development and economic growth by strengthening the continent’s media sector. It does so through a set of strategic activities aimed at transforming the sector to become more professional, financially sustainable, technologically adaptable and socially responsible. 

Key to AMI’s success is its flagship African Media Leaders Forum, the only established gathering of media owners and operators from across the continent.  Over 250 CEOs, Managing Directors, Publishers and others will attend this year’s forum in Yaoundé, Republic of Cameroun. The AMLF is a critical success factor of AMI’s work, providing a vehicle to cultivate the buy-in and participation of African media as well as an annual platform to showcase AMI’s deliverables. 

AMI’s Pilot Phase consists of phased priority projects deeply rooted in African research and consultation and consistently identified as main challenges to the sector’s growth. For 2011, AMI will deliver a fourth successful AMLF and run three priority projects to: (i) Expand Financial Flows, (ii) Support Technological Adaptation, and, (iii) Promote Leadership and Social Responsibility. 

This is an opportunity to support an important and innovative initiative endorsed by the African Union, African Development Bank, Economic Commission for Africa and every significant media structure on the continent.  Thank you for considering support for its Pilot Phase. 

Mark Koenig, USAID

The Media Sustainability Index (MSI) analyses yearly progress/reversals in the health of media sectors in nearly 80 countries in Europe, Eurasia, Middle East, and Africa. See links to MSI reports and methodology on  MSI is designed to be “platform neutral”, so its methodology is currently being updated/clarified to assure that rapidly expanding “new” media are weighted properly alongside so-called “legacy media.”   Donors for MSI have included UNESCO, CIDA, MEPI, and the World Bank.  USAID remains a committed funder, but we continue to invite other donor support to broaden/diversify the donor base.   Production of MSI has proven useful for program design and evaluation/benchmark purposes.    In addition to support for MSI production in selected countries or regions, supporting country workshops and other roll-outs of the MSI results (especially when included with discussions of the Freedom House Freedom of the Press and Reporters without Frontiers index annual research) can provoke better understanding and corrective actions by local media professional communities. 

James Deane, BBC World Service Trust

1) Aggregating Data on Information and Communication Need

The BBC World Service Trust has a 10 years of extensive research and policy capacity focused on understanding the information and communication needs and realities of marginalized populations across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

These needs and realities are changing rapidly as new communication technologies become more ubiquitous, and as media patterns of access, ownership and content transform people’s access to information. 

Too limited data currently exists that provides an insight into what these changes are among people living in poverty, and how they are affecting these people’s lives. 

Our proposal builds on the Trust’s 50 strong global research network and the wealth of data and knowledge it has generated over recent years.  Our goal is to transform the current data into insightful trends, themes and analysis for development policymakers on how and why media and communication affects development outcomes. The data would be made freely available to the development sector, with a particular focus on interpreting and providing analysis relevant to development policy needs. 

Our current funding – which is allocated almost entirely to specific projects – has not allowed us to aggregate date in forms that can provide a broader understanding of the key themes and trends emerging in the development sector.

The programme will be led by the Research and Learning Group of the BBC World Service Trust working closely with the Policy and Research programme within the Trust.

2) Mobile Platforms, A Pro-Poor Platform

The mobile platform, the scale and speed of its penetration in developing countries provides a powerful platform to deliver information, advice and participation that improves the lives of people living on $2 a day and those facing human rights challenges.

There is a great demand for our work and leadership in this area, but no resources. Agencies/governments requesting our advice, input, content include: USAID ICT/EGAT, US State Dept, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, mHealth Alliance, c. 20 industry operators covering all continents, leading handset manufacturer Nokia, global mobile industry body GSMA.

BBC WST Mobile: A Catalyst (£3-6m over 2 years)

Scale and improve the delivery of information and participation that improves and safeguards lives:

  • Deliver impact via well executed mobile projects
  • Reversion and making available to industry and others, our catalogue of (TV, radio and online) content in over 25 languages (health, farming, literacy etc)
  • Pilot mobile projects and conducting feasibility studies to replicate success
  • Build staff capacity and structure secondments from/to industry in order to increase the mainstreaming of mobiles in development

Support external initiatives/organisations in making the case for mobiles as a sustainable mechanism for development outcomes

  • Partner with the mHealth Alliance, lead with USAID on mEducation Alliance
  • Work with GSMA Development Fund on modelling the profit motive for industry
  • Creative commons approach - sharing our learning, research, proprietary models openly (through publications and presentations)

Aaron Presnall, Jefferson Institute

In a region torn by those who would seek to monopolize the interpretation of history, it is essential that citizens have direct on-demand access to primary documentation of their shared experiences.  If citizens know that history belongs to them and that feeling of ownership is empowered with access to the universe of primary materials, the accountability of government officials is enhanced and the manipulation of history for political purposes is much more difficult.  In order to understand the present and to plan for the future, citizens, civilian leadership and armed forces must have a reliable means of recalling the past.

The National Archive of BiH in Sarajevo has actively sought to replicate the experience of the Serbia Military Historical Archive’s digital production systems.  This proof-of-concept project will start with an on-line exhibition of materials from and related to the BiH Sabor.  These holdings are of great historical significance to BiH, but are not a large set of materials – making for a realistic short project cycle.  Moreover, because of the upcoming centennial celebrations, the Sabor materials will attract wide public interest, providing a strong platform for mobilizing that interest for further action.

Budget: US$50,000

Habiba Mejri-Cheikh, African Union Commission

1) The Panafrican web portal

Collect and disseminate news and information about the African media sector,
Identify ongoing media developments projects as well as a repertoire of media houses and media practitioners from around the continent.
The portal site will work with existing web-sites in Africa and aims to strengthen their work rather than duplicate it.

The African Media Initiative (AMI) will coordinate this activity and serve as the secretariat of the project.

A Task Force, composed of media experts, has been established to guide the creation and development of the portal.

2) The Pan-African media network

The meeting also agreed to launch the pan-African media network, a structure which will be organised along sub-sectors of media development.

The Pan-African media Network aims to bring together the different players in African media.

Formulate a strategy to promote media for Africa and to work collectively for the implementation of that strategy by members States, donors, international institutions and other relevant parties.
Serve as a sounding board for media development initiatives in Africa,
Function as a platform to propose media development initiatives and advise the AUC on media development policy in Africa.

The African Forum for Media Development (AFMD) will facilitate operation of the network, which will be organised along sub-sectors of media development.

Pia Hallonsten, SIDA

Evaluating Support to Media as a vehicle for
Enhanced Domestic Accountability

Evaluation purpose – why evaluating media and accountability

The main objective is to move beyond talking about why media is integral to accountability efforts and towards focusing on how media and communication efforts can best be supported for accountability purposes. Domestic accountability has been given increased attention in the adi effectiveness agenda as a result of the commitments in the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) both per se as an important principle of the rights perspective, and as a result  of the increased use of country PFM systems and the move towards PBA (program based approaches), Media needs to be understood as an important accountability actor in this  There is a need to deepen the understanding of what works in relation to media support, with a specific focus on the relation between media capacity and domestic accountability in the context of PBA and increased use of country PFM systems. The evaluation should explore how media support fits with the aid effectiveness agenda, e.g. what are the lessons learned from media support in countries where donors have agreed on budget support/sector support?

The underlying questions are:
To what extent has media been supported with an explicit accountability purpose and/or as a part of the larger accountability strategy?
To what extent has media support contributed to strengthening media as a vehicle for enhanced domestic accountability?

The aim of the evaluation would be to carve out methods and strategic approaches from existing pools of knowledge as well as experiences from media support at country and local levels.

Intended use/users
The evaluation should contribute to a more strategic thinking among donors (focus OECD/DAC?) as regards the complementarities between support to media for enhanced domestic accountability and PBA .
The evaluation should both produce concrete lessons and recommendations to donor desk officers handling media support and/or PBA support in different sectors, and produce lessons and recommendations to donor policy specialists developing policies and guidelines on media support and/or PBAs or similar. 
Evaluation justification

The DAC Network on Governance background paper on aid and domestic accountability highlights the need for more systematic and result based assessments of media support, in an accountability context,  to draw conclusions on what works.

The media is seen as one of the main mediators between state and citizen – thus underscoring the need to build media capacity as a way to increase domestic capacity to hold the executive to account – both national governments and aid programs as such.

Donors are also connected through the AAA to support the capacity of the media – “ to take an active role in dialogue on development policy and on the role of aid in contributing to countries development objectives.”  (Accra Agenda for Action, 13c)
Paragraph 24 of the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) highlights that “Transparency and accountability are essential elements for development results. They lie at the heart of the Paris Declaration, in which we agreed that countries and donors would become more accountable to each other and to their citizens.”

Donors are increasingly using PFM systems to channel their support and are working with large government programs through PBAs. There is a rising understanding that in parallel to these large government programs it is important to support enhanced domestic accountability. 

Brief background on role of the media and donor support to media

In 2006 DAC partners agreed on a joint evaluation with the purpose of deepening the understanding of what works in terms of promotion of citizens’ voice and accountability (CV&A). The evaluation synthesis report published in 2008 concluded among other things that the media in particular emerged as a positive mechanism for CV&A engagement.” Voice does not automatically lead to accountability: voice without concrete mechanisms to effectively hold the state accountable is not likely to achieve change”(Rocha Menocal, A. And Sharma, B. (2008), Joint Evaluation of Citizen’s Voice and Accountability: Synthesis Report. London: DFID)

The connection between a free press and lower rates of corruption is internationally recognized, but to date donors have limited evidence about what media support strategies work best. Media assistance has often been ad hoc and project based with a lopsided focus on journalism training. A BBC World Service report from 2009 highlights the engagement gap between recognition of the importance of media support and the actual provisions made for it in development planning. The main barriers identified are issues of aid architecture, such as de-centralization of aid, the demand –led nature of many programmes and issues about aid delivered via governments who may resist prioritizing media. (Governance and the Media. A survey of policy opinion, Prepared for the BBC World Service Trust by Kathy Lines, The Fuse Group, April 2009)

Although donors are increasingly recognizing the need for a more holistic approach to media development  evaluations so far have largely focused on counting outputs – such as the number of journalists trained – rather than assessing the outcome of media support in terms of how it strengthens  its watch dog role and thus contributes to domestic  accountability.
The Alan Hudson and GOVNET Secretariat, DAC Background Paper for Launch of the Work-stream on Aid and Accountability, 30 March, 2009 refers to UN/IPDC media development indicators and IREX Media Sustainability Index as steps in the right direction.

Lessons learned from media support

The evaluation should build on previous lessons learned from media support and evaluations, such as “Citizens’ Voice & Accountability”.
Alan Hudson and GOVNET Secretariat, DAC Background Paper for Launch of the Work-stream on Aid and Accountability, 30 March, 2009 highlight:

There’s a need to establish greater co-ordination in media support – much money is already spent. Estimates put the total amount spent on media assistance programmes by donors and funders outside of the US at $1 billion a year, with an additional $142 million spent by the USA.  Spent effectively this is a powerful force, if donors were willing to sit down together and share their priorities.

Effective support to the media needs to be based on analysis of the power relations at play that may influence the functions of the media sector in a given context. “If they are to maximize the value of their media support donors need to have a better understanding of the positive potential of relationships among media, civil society and parliaments in holding the executive to account.”
Issues that may serve as a backdrop for the evaluation on media and domestic accountability:

Media organizations are not always part of civil society networks. Media organizations often see joining with development organizations as compromising their independence. Therefore donors cannot assume that support to or engaging civil society organizations and networks will automatically include media and press freedom organizations.

New forms of information and communication technologies, including mobile solutions are changing the media sector, including business models as well as the relationship between citizens, the media and decision makers.  This has yet to be incorporated into general media support programmes.

The link between financial independence and editorial independence needs further attention and business knowledge and management skills are often overlooked in general media assistance programs.

Holding governments to account for how money is spent is a core journalistic mission. But investigative journalism itself is in trouble in most countries – underfunded and lacking access to resources as well as being one of the most dangerous assignments for journalists. Investigating politics or/and corruption are top ranked as reasons behind killing of journalists.

The evaluation should take into consideration:
Strategies and methods of media support, including the analysis behind it
Results of media support in terms of how media performs its role for domestic accountability
Accounting for different results/linking results and methods
Aid Effectiveness
Practical relation to Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA)

It is also vital that the evaluation contributes to the continued work on media development indicators with the aim to adopt a common approach to assessing the impact of donor programmes.

Methodology: how might this be evaluated?

The evaluation can be made up of two phases and consequently result in two reports:
Desk study of previous reports and evaluations undertaken by donors as well as available research in the area of media development.
A number of country case studies in select countries. There seem to be two options: 1)Focus on long term cooperation countries in order to capture the role of media in relation to countries where donors have agreed on budget/sector programme support. 2) Also include post conflict and authoritarian countries where focus is on direct support to civil society and where - often -media support.

It is important that the evaluation also captures the point of view of- and experiences from key international, regional and national nongovernmental press freedom and media development organizations.

Who could be partners in the evaluation?

Ideally this evaluation is carried out as a joint partner evaluation involving different donors and partner government agencies, civil society organisations and multilaterals in the chosen countries (which is also the default mode for evaluation that Sida has committed to in the OECD/DAC).

Dfid and USAID have indicated interest in the evaluation in GOVNET.
Norway and Denmark are key donor partners to Sida  -  the three countries co-fund the core mandate of International Media Support).

Ideally the evaluation should take place during 2010 -2011 and it would be excellent if we had the finalized evaluation with recommendations well in advance of the Paris Declaration follow up in 2011.

Rolf Paasch, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

1) Consolidating Advocacy Voices


Streamline advocacy work in the SADC region through consolidating various advocacy voices.
Engage in capacity and skills building for media practitioners and media houses to develop better understanding of developmental issues in southern Africa (through thematised and focused skills development initiatives), using the media as a platform for development on topical socio-environmental and economic issues.

Proposed thematic (inter-related) areas:
Democracy and governance
Climate change
Advocacy and campaigns
Food security and poverty alleviation

MISA’s network of chapters and its advocacy staff already work closely with other similar minded organisation. This work however needs to be formalised through thematic networks to improve the advocacy impacts. They have to blend and mix their voices with other civic voices in order to make impact and leverage their clout.  To do this effectively they need skills and capacity to articulate identified issues and link the issues with topical civic issues in the respective countries. Advocacy activists have to utilise the media to build strong vibrant campaigns and enhance the visibility of their work.
The collapse of the NSJ in Maputo has left a major gap in the training and capacity building of journalists in southern Africa. Other organisations, most notably the Institute for Advancement of Journalists (IAJ), focus on journalistic training, and not the thematic training/skills building that MISA is proposing.

Role of MISA in southern Africa:

Objective 1:
Undertake relevant research showing the link between media and identified advocacy/human rights theme
Establish partnerships with national and regional advocacy organisations on identified joint campaigns;
Present training on media literacy to existing rights campaigning organisations;
Present training to journalists and advocacy workers on thematic human rights issues (e.g. regional integration, trade and development, HIV and AIDS, etc).

Objective 2:
Undertake relevant research and partner with research institutions/experts i.o.t. deliver relevant training content;
Develop training tools (predominantly online)
Development communication tools (incl. website, newsletter)
Develop different training models: online, newsroom-based training, one-on-one mentorships, etc.
Develop specific strategies to maximising the impact of training on different strata in the media, i.e. editors, senior journalists, junior journalists, community media, online media practitioners, print/broadcast media.

2)  The Network of African Freedom of Expression Organizations

(This is an addition and natural progression to the first concept note. MISA works from the perspective that the creation of partnerships/networks and strengthening of national and regional campaigns are necessary, and will give effect to its voice at a Pan-African level).


To maximise the voices and impact of sub-regional and Pan-African media freedom and freedom of expression advocacy initiatives through the appointment of a dedicated network coordinator for the Network of African Freedom of Expression Organisations (NAFEO).

Note that this person/appointment is intended to facilitate the work of member organisations and does in no way replace the organisations or their work.


NAFEO promotes and defends freedom of press and expression in the continent. It was established in October 2005 by several significant freedom of expression Organisations in Africa. The coordination of the NAFEO is currently hosted by Media Foundation For West Africa (MFWA) based in Accra (Ghana). NAFEO’s objectives and mandate are:
to improve collaboration and coordination of common programmes and goals, and develop strategies for addressing key issues affecting freedom of expression situation in Africa generally as well as in specific serious cases;
to develop a programme of collective campaigns and advocacy involving all the members of the Network for particular continental issues;
to support the strengthening of the regional networks in order to set up or strengthen regional press freedom/of expression monitoring projects.

NAFEO is the key media freedom advocacy network in Africa and a member and partner of the African Forum for Media Development (AFMD), the African regional body within the Global Forum for Media Development.

Media freedom and free expression groups n Africa have reported that the conditions of media freedom and freedom of expression are deteriorating rapidly and systematically in all regions of Africa. There is a marked increase in the arrests, detention, repression and general harassment of journalists, media and other communications workers.
  Many governments have either introduced new legislation, or have intensified the application of laws that criminalize journalistic work and free expression.

Whilst the increasing deterioration of free expression persists in most countries in Africa today, the following countries constitute the hot spots of extreme violations of media freedom and freedom of expression: The Gambia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, Tunisia, and Swaziland.

Role of Network Coordinator:

Coordinate annual consultation(s) of media freedom organisations;
Mobilises resources for joint projects of network partners;
Coordinate focused lobbying interventions targeted at the African Union, European Union, African Court, Pan-African Parliament, etc;
Collaborate with, and strengthen the office of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights;
Development communication tools (incl. website, newsletter) for information sharing between member organisations and a larger constituency.
Collaborate closely with the African Media Initiative (AMI), African Forum for Media Development (AFMD) and the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) closely.

It is proposed that the Network Coordinator would be multi-lingual (at least English and French) and be based in Ethiopia for improved access to the African Union.

Eric Chinje, World Bank Institute

1) I.M.A.G.E PROGRAM - Bridging the Gap between Development Agendas and Media Content

Independent media and the development community exist apart from each other in most developing countries. Governments and their development partners generally perceive media as instruments to be used when necessary and to be avoided as much as possible. Media professionals, on their part, are mostly suspicious of governments and their development partners, and operate from the perspective that the development story "does not sell" and should also be avoided as much as possible. Efforts to improve the media product and align it to the imperatives of development have generally failed to take this basic fact into account. It is a fact that manifests itself in two ways: media coverage of development news is events-driven and generally lack depth, and the gap between media content and development agendas continues to grow wider, especially in the least developed nations.

The I.M.A.G.E Program is designed to address both aspects of the problem. It is based on a four-pillar approach that incorporates basic training in the core areas of development and an incentives-driven initiative that aims at sustaining media focus on these sectors. The four pillars are: the IMAGE Network,  the IMAGE Academy,  the Network of Citizen Reporters, and the Coalition of Partners. Membership of the Academy is drawn from the IMAGE Network; Citizen Reporters serve as the eyes and ears of the trained journalists; and the Partners provide the incentives to ensure the sustainability of the system.

The IMAGE program has a web platform ( that serves as the conference hub and will run as a joint effort of the World Bank Institute, the African Media Initiative, the International Center For Journalist and the Center for International Media Assistance.  The WBI will take the lead in media capacity building; the AMI will be responsible for overall coordination of the network and manage the web platform; the ICFJ will build the citizen network; and CIMA will monitor the system, and analyze and report on program outcomes. The design is flexible enough to allow other partners in the coalition to take a leadership role in some aspects of the program.  I will explain the concept design to Seminar participants in the hope of identifying agencies that will be interested in joining the coalition of partners to develop the system of incentives required to make the design operational and successful. 

2) SEMA AFRIKA - Promoting Good Journalism through Entertainment

An initiative to promote good journalism and bring a fresh perspective to the Africa story through reality television is in its design phase. The project expects to be commercially financed but needs seed funding for a pilot.  Donors seeking a fresh and innovative approach to improving the media ecosystem in Africa should contact:

Manager, Global Media Development
World Bank Institute
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
+1 202 683 0152 (cell phone)
eric.chinje (skype)